What is art and What is design?

Bild 2Of course I missed it, damn! The NRW-Forum in my home town, Düsseldorf, just had an exhibition about art and design (23.05. – 05.07.2009). Or to be exact it was an exhibition about the difference of art and design. It was called “UFO – blurring the boundaries between art and design”. See some pictures of the vernissage here.

BUT the NRW-Forum started something even more brilliant. They started a discussion on their weblog about the two questions: What is Art? and What is design?

The answers are given by the Who-is-who of the two fields, art and design. Charles Eames, Rolf Sachs, Philippe Garner, Alexander von Vegesack and many more. Of course, not all answers were given presonally, for example Charles Eames died 1987. But they collected these answers.

Bild 5And the design plattform Stylepark.com contributed and to the discussion with some interesting posts. They ask three questions: “What do artists find unsettling about design?”, “What do designers find boring about art?” and “Who is your favorite designer or artist?” One of my most favorite answers is the one given by Richard Prince, US-american painter and photographer. You can see it one the left or here.

And my favorit answer to “What is design?” at the NRW-Forum blog is given by the German Designer Clemens Weisshaar:

“Today, April 19 2009 design is low fat and no steroids, sustainable and anarchistic, a sizzling brew of 130% Thinking, 46% Critique, 93% Comment, 67% Revolution, 84% Fun, 90% Economy, 120% Risk, 90% Democracy, 84% Multilingual, 117% Anarchy, 27% Work Out, 30% Panic, 80% Specific, 74% Control, 57% Intuition, 83% Apollonian, 49% Night Flight, 46% Plebejan, 58% Rough, 77% Divine, 68% Dionysian, 94% Urban, 40% Universal, 74% Maths, 33% Craft, 98% Personal, 34% Illusion and 62% Solid.”

For me Clemens Weisshaar is very sympathetic. He answered 25 questions at the Elle magazine and his answer to the question “What is bad taste in your opinion?” suprised me. Translated into English he said:
“It can be at least entertaining, if it is presented consequently. But what is really bad, is having no taste at all.”

And that is exactly why my weblog is called: “Better taste than sorry.”!!!


I just stumbeled upon a great article about “design thinking” in the New York Times: “Design is more than packaging”. Christopher Fahey, a founding partner and user experience director at Behavior, wrote at the Design Taxi about this article, you should read it!

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What is art and What is design?